Quantifying Local Radiation-Induced Lung Damage From Computed Tomography

Ghazaleh Ghobadi, Laurens E. Hogeweg, Hette Faber, Wim G. J. Tukker, Jacobus M. Schippers, Sytze Brandenburg, Johannes A. Langendijk, Robert P. Coppes, Peter van Luijk*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Purpose: Optimal implementation of new radiotherapy techniques requires accurate predictive models for normal tissue complications. Since clinically used dose distributions are nonuniform, local tissue damage needs to be measured and related to local tissue dose. In lung, radiation-induced damage results in density changes that have been measured by computed tomography (CT) imaging noninvasively, but not yet on a localized scale. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to develop a method for quantification of local radiation-induced lung tissue damage using CT.

    Methods and Materials: CT images of the thorax were made 8 and 26 weeks after irradiation of 100%, 75%, 50%, and 25% lung volume of rats. Local lung tissue structure (S(L)) was quantified from local mean and local standard deviation of the CT density in Hounsfield units in 1-mm(3) subvolumes. The relation of changes in S(L) (Delta S(L)) to histologic changes and breathing rate was investigated. Feasibility for clinical application was tested by applying the method to CT images of a patient with non-small-cell lung carcinoma and investigating the local dose-effect relationship of Delta S(L).

    Results: In rats, a clear dose-response relationship of Delta S(L) was observed at different time points after radiation. Furthermore, Delta S(L) correlated strongly to histologic endpoints (infiltrates and inflammatory cells) and breathing rate. In the patient, progressive local dose-dependent increases in Delta S(L) were observed.

    Conclusion: We developed a method to quantify local radiation-induced tissue damage in the lung using CT. This method can be used in the development of more accurate predictive models for normal tissue complications. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)548-556
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1-Feb-2010


    • Radiation-induced lung damage
    • Computed tomography imaging
    • Computed tomography density changes
    • Normal tissue injury
    • RAT LUNG
    • CANCER
    • INJURY

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